Mike McConnell’s Internet-only broadcast in limbo: Technical issues or something more?

Mike McConnellMike McConnell’s been telling his Facebook fans that technical issues are preventing him from doing his live stream (and subsequent podcast) on the WGNRadio.com website. His Facebook fans aren’t necessarily buying it.

Either way, McConnell’s last show was Thursday, Oct. 3. Later that afternoon, he wrote on his Facebook that there would be no Friday podcast, but that he’d be back on Monday. Three days in and nothing this week.

What kind of technical issues would keep McConnell from doing a live Internet stream for multiple days? It’s a fair question considering Jonathon Brandmeier has had zero problems with his live stream (which technically should operate no differently than McConnell’s — on the surface, Brandmeier’s stream is simply branded under the “WGN.FM” monicker while McConnell’s is not). Even if the problem was as simple as a faulty Internet connection from McConnell’s end in Cincinnati (where he does, from time to time, broadcast from), I doubt that would keep him off the air for more than a day.

I’m calling B.S. on the” technical issues.” Since being jettisoned from the WGN-AM 720 airwaves in early August, it’s seemed obvious that the station wanted him to just go away completely. There’s been no on air mentions or promotion of his move to the “WGN-2” stream channel on the station website, nor have his shows received promotion space on the WGNRadio.com home page.

On Aug. 20, Robert Feder reported that station management was attempting to negotiate an early settlement of his remaining two year contract, worth $50,000 a year. With such an ironclad contract, McConnell should have the easiest gig in the world. Would he be willing to walk away from such easy money, even if the lack of promotion, caller interaction or support from the station makes his time there miserable?

McConnell’s not my favorite news/talker in radio, but I still like his show more then I dislike it. Since moving to online-only, I’ve made an effort to listen to the podcast more regularly. The absence of commercials, news, traffic and weather were an added bonus.

While McConnell is yet to address today’s absence on his Facebook page, that hasn’t stopped his readers from speculating the possibility that he is now completely on the outs at WGN. Whether it has merit or not, one commenter wrote that after texting the station last night, he received a response hinting that McConnell was done.

The longer McConnell goes without commenting about anything on his Facebook, the more reason there is to speculate.

UPDATE at 2:40 pm – Mike’s posted an update on his Facebook a few minutes ago:

Sorry Likers – it’s been a busy day and as you can see no stream or podcast. You’re all pretty good guessers as to what in the world is going on and I’ll let you know as soon as I do.  Thanks for staying in touch.

Definitely no longer just a technical problem…

George Will moving to Fox News, eliminates travel to New York for ABC’s ‘This Week’


Upon learning that conservative commentator George Will was moving to Fox News, my initial thought was”great, now he’ll be the next to sell out his usually composed and reasonable conservative mindset in exchange for a more radical approach to appease the far right Fox News audience.”

I should give him the benefit of the doubt though since I do think (or hope) he is better then that.

According to the linked Times article above, Will wanted to eliminate the travel between his Washington home and New York, where ABC’s “This Week” is based from (on weeks when hosted by George Stephanopoulos — usually three weeks out of the month). According to the Times article, Will has been a regular roundtable participant on “This Week” since 1981.

Like the other Sunday morning news shows, “This Week” was based in Washington up until Jan. 2012 when Stephanopoulos returned as host. The New York move was done to accommodate Stephanopoulos who continues to host the New York based “Good Morning America” during the week.

When ABC first announced this arrangement in Dec. 2011, I wondered how it might impact the show’s ability of booking guest to appear in studio, considering most of the mainstream political guests are based in Washington. These same guests often appear on multiple shows each Sunday morning, the rest of which are based in Washington.

It must not have posed too much of a problem or else Stephanopoulos would have either been flying to DC himself each weekend or the network would have replaced him with a DC based host by now.

Earlier this year, ABC News vacated their studio space at the Washington-based Newseum, where “This Week” had previously been hosted.

Brian Urlacher on ‘Fox Football Daily’

Brian Urlacher, Fox Sports 1

From the little I’ve been able to watch of “Fox Football Daily” on Fox Sports 1, one thing is well obvious. Brian Urlacher needs to be properly coached on how to speak on camera.

Urlacher’s fast-paced dialogue was acceptable and natural during post-game interviews during his playing career, but as a professional analyst, he needs to talk slower and more clearly. I don’t blame Urlacher so much as I do the folks at Fox Sports.

In contrast, ESPN rookie analyst Ray Lewis began working with a network talent coach in June, giving him three months of practice before going on camera. The Fox Sports/Urlacher hire was announced not even a month before the new sports network went live.

On a positive end, fellow Fox Sports rookie analyst Randy Moss comes across more natural on screen and has a more coherent delivery than Urlacher.

Again, I’m not ragging Urlacher so much as I am Fox. I wish Brian the best and hope he only continues to improve.

Harry Teinowitz is hosting his own show after Brandmeier on WGN.FM

Harry Teinowitz

It appears that Harry Teinowitz, former WMVP-AM/ESPN 1000 afternoon co-host and current sidekick on the Jonathon Brandmeier show, now has his own show on WGN.FM, the online-stream alternate to WGN-AM 720.

Earlier today, I coincidentally stumbled onto Teinowitz’s Twitter and stumbled onto this particular  tweet:

My initial thought was maybe it is a tryout or some type of test show. After checking his Twitter again a few minutes ago, I came across his most recent tweet:

Is this a permanent gig for Teinowitz or is he simply holding the fort until WGN Radio President and General Manager Jimmy de Castro inks a more permanent schedule for the now online only, and potentially future FM station?

Teinowitz was an afternoon co-host at ESPN 1000 from 2001 until his dismissal in March of this year. He was partnered with John Jurkovic for that entire duration as well as Dan McNeil from 2001 to 2009 — the trio were known best as “Mac, Jurko and Harry.”